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Landmark ferris wheel is out of business

Date Posted: 2012-03-09

The Chatan Ferris Wheel, long a landmark in Mihama American Village, will carry passengers skyward for a panoramic view of Okinawa’s central west coast no longer.

SkyMax60, the company that has operated the iconic Ferris Wheel the past 11 years, has called it quits, citing mechanical problems with the unit that are difficult and expensive to repair. “We have been putting up with running the business without any income for such a long time, and we cannot see exactly when we could even start work on it now,” a company spokesman says, adding “we need to support staff salaries, and need a huge budget for fixing components.”

With sadness in his voice, the decision was made “we decided to give up running the ferris wheel by ourselves. It was a sad choice, but no choice for us.” Rights to running the ferris wheel have been “returned to the owner of the building”, “SkyMax60 says. The company says it has no idea if the building owner will make a decision to activate the popular ferris wheel, although its lights still stay on.

“The most lamentable thing for us is that we’ve had to see the expression on customers’ faces who heard the ferris wheel is out of order, and they could not ride,” SkyMax60’s spokesman noted. “We know the customers are feeling more sad than us.”

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